Today, we made the long walk from Putney bridge to Hampton Court bridge. It is a walk we have done many times, usually as practice for a still longer yomp later in the summer or early autumn. This time, accompanied by friends, we walked simply because it is there to be done. With the trip back to Kingston on Thames thrown in, we covered just over thirty kilometres. It’s not quite Everest, but it is a still a challenge.
The last time we came this way, in the summer of 2020, it was a hot, sunny day. Today was grey and for much of the morning, cold and a bit miserable. Apart from the weather, little had changed in the intervening months. Kingston, a major shopping hub, was quiet. Many businesses remain closed, some forever. The country as a whole remains under pandemic restrictions.
Some more of our liberties, which only eighteen months ago we regarded as our rights, are gifted back to us next week. The questions are, will people use them and will we retain them for long?